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Pope thankful for 'prayers'

The Pope has made his first appearance at St Peter's Square window since his resignation announcement and thanked the faithful for their "prayers and support."

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Pope Benedict XVI breaks with 600 years of tradition

It was an announcement that shook the Roman Catholic Church to its ancient foundations. The Pope has said he is giving up his role as leader of its one billion followers.

He even surprised a gathering of Cardinals in the Vatican - who were there for a different occasion.

Not for six centuries, has a Pope stepped down. Pope Benedict said illness and old age meant he could no longer fulfil his ministry.

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports from the Vatican:

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